Capital City Development Corporation, Boise’s urban renewal agency, selected Anthony Lyons, who has worked in city development in Florida and New Hampshire, as its new executive director. He replaces Phil Kushlan, who retired in July but has a one-year consulting contract with CCDC.
“Anthony represents a revitalization of this agency. We’re bringing in an outside individual with a wealth of experience and some entrepreneurial background,” said CCDC board member and Boise City Council member David Eberle.
“I love redevelopment and economic development and have a good entrepreneurial spirit,” said Lyons, who is now director of the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) in Gainesville, Fla. He’s set to start at CCDC on Dec. 5 and will earn $140,000 a year, plus benefits.
In Gainesville, Lyons said the CRA was responsible for millions of dollars in economic development and many large projects including a new large urban park, train depot, several miles of roadway improvements and several hundred new housing units.
Lyons had kind words for CCDC, the city of Boise and the state of Idaho, adding that he expects to work well in potentially tricky political situations since, like Boise, Gainesville is a blue city in a red state. He said the key is working with others to accomplish great things. “Collaboration is important,” he said. “Getting things done is important.”
Before joining the CRA, Lyons worked in planning in New Hampshire. He began his career by starting technology-oriented companies that dealt with prepaid phone cards and later gift cards that replaced paper gift certificates.
CCDC selected Lyons over five other finalists. Board chairman John May said Lyons offers an entrepreneurial background and brings a different dynamic having worked in a different region of the country. One of the other finalists was CCDC’s interim executive director Todd Bunderson, who will return to his old post as the agency’s chief financial officer when Lyons starts work.
May said Lyons will be involved in several large CCDC projects, including the recently announced Zions Bank Building on 8th and Main and the Whole Foods project.
CCDC is a public agency serving Boise’s urban renewal district, which covers most of downtown Boise. The borders of the district are, approximately, the Boise River on the south, Broadway Avenue on the east, State Street on the north, and 16th Avenue on the west.